During my 17-hour flight from Doha to Auckland (after the 6 hours from Toulouse to Doha😭), I watched the movie Blackberry.
If you are too young to know Blackberry, they were the first Smartphone before being killed by Apple.
In the movie, Mike Lazaridis, one of the founders, is shown being bullied by a client who owes them millions of dollars for products already shipped.
It was painful to watch. 😩
Then, the new CEO, Jim Balsillie, took over the phone. He swore at the client and, with authority, demanded payment.
Okay, that example of authority is too extreme.
But what I am getting at is that the best salespeople have the ability to inspire a movement.
Question the status quo.
Because SALES is about creating change.
It is the potential to do great work and make a significant impact on your prospects and client's business.
The more significant and high value the opportunity, the more you must exude authority, presence and impact.
Let's call this "Executive Presence".
According to a research from the Centre of Talent Innovation, there are three critical components of executive presence, ranked in order of importance:
Gravitas - how you act
Communication - how you speak
Appearance - how you look
Executive presence refers to projecting confidence, decisiveness, and clarity in professional interactions. The powerful blend of gravitas, communication, and appearance commands respect and inspires confidence in your abilities.
In sales, executive presence is critical for success as it directly impacts how clients, prospects, and peers perceive you.
Why You Need Executive Presence in Sales
In the sales world, you're not merely selling a product or service; you're selling yourself, your vision, and your value.
Executive presence enhances your ability to influence and persuade, making others more likely to buy into your offering. It helps establish trust and credibility, which are the building blocks of lasting client relationships.
Additionally, an executive presence can set you apart in competitive sales environments, giving you an edge when vying for clients' attention and business.
How to Build Executive Presence
Like Sales, Executive Presence is not inherent to one's personality.
Executive Presence is a collection of skills that can be developed and honed over time. By acquiring and refining these skills, individuals can effectively project a confident and authoritative presence in their professional roles.
Below is a model Professor Hawkins created to help leaders develop "Executive Presence".
Your Authority is the foundation of your executive presence. You must showcase your knowledge, expertise, and achievements to establish this.
Carrying true authority within yourself means embodying it in your actions, such as entering a room and greeting others. It also involves holding your experiences as a resource for others without forcing them on those who don't ask for them. To fully establish your authority, you must confidently take up your rightful space and be grounded in your physical, intellectual, and ethical values.
Your presence is about your ability to engage, hold attention, and build rapport.
It is the ability to be fully present and develop relationships and rapport quickly with very different types of people and groups. People with a lot of presence command attention and respect in many situations, and many people find them easy to relate to.
Your Impact relates to your ability to change mindsets and create an emotional shift in others. People with high levels of impact can shift the direction of a meeting, conversation, or event. They can intervene in a way that shifts or reframes how issues under discussion are perceived and addressed.
The other aspect of impact is the ability to shift the emotional climate of a meeting, relationship or conversation by the skilful introduction of different emotional energy, such as the introduction of humour, assertive and focused challenge - or by changing levels in the discourse and giving expression to felt but unnamed feelings collectively.
🎥Crash Course on Building Your Executive Presence
Actionable Steps for Developing Executive Presence
1/ Self-Evaluation: Start by assessing your current level of authority, presence, and impact by answering the self-assessment below. Be critically honest with yourself and write down how you reacted to moments of pressure in your personal and professional life. Awareness is the first step.
2/ Skill Development: Identify areas where you need to improve. This could be listening skills, negotiation skills, or industry knowledge—plan for continuous learning and skill development.
3/ Practice: Perfect practice makes perfect. Use every interaction as an opportunity to practice and improve your executive presence.
4/ Feedback and Adjustment: Regularly seek feedback and be open to constructive criticism. Take note of the feedback and make necessary adjustments.
Executive presence isn't something you're born with - it's a skill that can be learned and honed over time.
By investing in your executive presence, you're investing in your long-term sales success. It's about being perceived as a sales leader, building strong relationships, and ultimately, influencing others to believe in you and your product or service. Embrace the journey of enhancing your executive presence - your sales career will thank you for it.
🚀Sales Maturity Assessment
As I announced earlier, I am currently developing the Sales Maturity Assessment and working with the amazing Charlotte Crowther, check her work here: MySnapshot.
This assessment aims to evaluate the emotional intelligence, intelligence quotient, and execution quotient of your sales teams and processes. Based on proven frameworks, the assessment benchmarks your sales performance and provides actionable insights to optimise your B2B sales and drive growth.
Be among the first 100 users by replying to this email or filling up the one-minute form below. And Yes, it’s on me! 😊
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I hope this week's newsletter helps you with your B2B sales opportunities!
Feel free to share what you are working on, your wins and your challenges. I respond to every email.